Authors

  1. Section Editor(s): Raso, Rosanne DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, FAONL

Article Content

We're starting a new year, and admittedly it isn't as hopeful as we traditionally begin a new year. Nurses and nurse leaders in every part of the country are exhausted and suffering from traumatic and moral stress in one form or another. Challenges include staff shortages, turnover, and burnout, coupled with the ongoing global pandemic, organizational expectations, politicization of public health, supply chain disruptions...need I go on? All of this is considerably balanced by continued evidence of innovation, successes, and extraordinary nursing in our workplaces and the literature. In the spirit of beginnings, here are a few resolutions for 2022 and beyond.

  
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First, let's resolve to feel and savor our own and our teams' accomplishments, whether big or small. Recognize good work in yourself and others. Celebrate it. It could be as simple as getting through your to-do list for the day or as complex as leading a multidisciplinary team that met an organizational performance metric. These accomplishments should reflect meaning and purpose-the fuel we need to ignite the heavy lift of recovery.

 

Another resolution is to put staff and leader well-being first, including your own. Value each and every employee, each and every day. Staff surveys around the country reveal neither well-being nor the perception that organizations are doing enough. Units and departments have taken team well-being into their own hands, creating snack carts, holding meditation breaks, inviting counselors, and volunteering together, among other strategies. Every little bit helps.

 

Let's resolve to get rid of nonvalue-added work and advocate to do away with rules, policies, and regulations that burden nurses. How can we maximize technology to improve workflows rather than add work? A good example of how rules can impose more harm than good is found in recent articles in the American Journal of Critical Care describing the negative impact of The Joint Commission's medication standards limiting nurse autonomy in titrating lifesaving medicated infusions, which may lead to moral dilemmas and patient safety concerns. We don't have time to give attention to standards and regulations that make no clinical sense; it has to stop.

 

As leaders, our traumatized teams depend on us. We should resolve to use every relational competency in our toolboxes to bring back trust and community. This includes basics such as collaboration, listening, presence, and caring. Leadership matters.

 

As we undergo the necessary work of rebuilding care models differently, let's resolve to incorporate the full scope of nursing practice along with the contributions of other disciplines. More important, let's resolve not to endanger patient outcomes with overly diluted skill mixes. It's very clear from decades of rigorous nursing research that RN care hours influence a host of outcomes, including mortality, failure to rescue, and hospital-acquired complications.

 

In the spirit of professional development and in acknowledgment of racial inequities and unconscious biases, let's resolve to be true allies to BIPOC nurses and mentors to others. This is an important part of our own personal legacies that we shouldn't ignore.

 

My last resolution is to advocate and lobby for government and organizational actions that improve healthcare, reduce inequities, decrease system burdens, advance healthy work environments, and protect clinical well-being.

 

I'm sure you can think of many more resolutions, as can I! There's a reason we've been ranked the most trusted professionals for nearly 2 decades. Let's use that trust wisely. As one of my bosses says, "The rearview mirror is much smaller than the windshield." Let's look forward.

 

NURSING.MANAGEMENT@WOLTERSKLUWER.COM

  
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